Woah, what's with the Ulta hate?
The only time I've had a problem with them was back during their rare sale where they let you use coupons on High End items also. I found it unfair that a select few shoppers were sent physical coupons to use in store and the rest had to buy online to get the discount. I was confused and asked one of the associates about it and I admit she did get kind of snotty, basically telling me only customers who spent alot of money there were deserving of said coupon. That miffed me for a bit but was the only bad time I've had.
Just this week, I headed to Ulta with a $3.50 off $10 coupon to buy some Physician's Formula mineral foundation, which is, in my opinion, pricey for drugstore. It's $13.99 at Ulta. But I lucked out and got the last one that still had a vendors coupon for $4 off. And they let me use both. So I got the foundation for about $6.50, which is awesome for Physician's Formula products.
I've also never had a problem returning/exchanging. I have super sensitive skin and alot of things react to me. They always take things back, with receipt of course. I haven't tried without; I keep my receipts knowing there's the possibility it won't work.
Oh, in the negative column - they keep products FAR to long. They've had the same items in clearance for over a year at mine. And not changed the price. Many look to have been opened and used. That's gross to me. I could maybe see someone paying a dollar or two for something they can tell had been opened but they seem to cut off the clearance around five bucks, which to me is to much to risk someone else's germs. Ew.
And I do have to agree with those saying STEER CLEAR OF THE "SALON". I got my eyebrows done there 1 time because it had been a while and they were having a sale. I think it was all salon services only $5 or something. So the setup was very professional for the brow station but the lady doing it got way to close for my taste and did a horrible job. One side was almost bare. Thankfully it was the side I wear my bangs pushed to. She was also far to rough and it was one of the few times my brows swelled and turned red post-wax. But she kindly asked if I wanted concealer put on the red parts. *eyeroll* AND! If I'd paid full price, it would have been $18. And she was there when they rang me up so I felt like I had to tip anyway. I gave a very small one though. It looked so bad.
Since an Ulta opened roughly two years ago in my area, I have been going there pretty much exclusively to buy whatever I need beauty-wise (with the exception of Target and health food stores). It has been a great store in meeting most of my needs.
Let me preface this by saying that I pretty much like to be left to my own devices when I am shopping for makeup or anything else. Stores like Sephora intimidate me to no end with the staff walking around, so I prefer Ulta's environment. For the most part, the sales associates have not bothered me or been exceptionally pushy, except on a couple of occasions. I have only been to one store in my area, so I don't know if experiences will differ. When I have needed help with finding something, the staff have been obliging.
I really like the coupons they offer. It does save me money when I am buying the basics (I usually stick to the drugstore end of the store), and it is probably the one thing that keeps me coming back. I can understand the frustration that others have about not being able to use them on the higher-end brands, so that is something to be wary of.
The major point of frustration for me has been the store website. I find it most frustrating to just check my information and update things such as my address. For whatever reason, it just seems incredibly hard to do. I have never ordered anything online because of this. Awhile back, I wanted to learn more about the rewards program connected to the Club Card, and asked a sales associate how you could check up on the points you had accumulated. The answer: There was no way to check your status on the website, but you had to call someone to do it for you. Really? Why so difficult? In the end, it is no great loss for me, since I do not spend a significant amount of money to probably even qualify for any gifts anyway. If you are someone who does accumulate a lot of points though, you may or may not like this aspect, depending.
In summary, I will wind up frequenting the store solely for the coupon deals and the selection of brands that are difficult to find elsewhere, such as NYX.
I just want to say something about the coupon issue; if you have a problem with not being able to use it on what you want, then buy your prestige cosmetics somewhere else and don't pitch a fit about it. Plain and simple. I've seen grown women literally throw temper tantrums because of this. You think Ulta's just doing it because they just want to make your life worse?
The prestige companies like BE and Smashbox, etc. want to make as much money as they can off of what they sell and in order for Ulta to carry those brands in the store, they're not allowed to be discounted. It's just the harsh reality. The prestige brands don't want to cheapen their products. If you want discounts on BareMinerals, then start writing angry letters to Leslie Blodgett and get mad at her. Why do think Sephora doesn't even offer coupons? I agree that the customer service is below average, but the coupon situation is something that's not going to change just because people disagree with it. I'm sure customers have been up in arms about it for years. Ulta has been around since 1990 and they're still going strong. So, to those of you who are boycotting due to the coupon issue, have fun with that. They're not going to let you use coupons on prestige.
Cosmetic companies want money, plain and simple. And they don't want to discount their products. I'm not defending the company for their poor business practices, I'm just trying to get people to understand the reasoning behind the coupon exclusions.
If anyone has any honest questions about things like coupons, I'd love to enlighten you. Anything to try and help customers understand things. I don't get tired of explaining it, honestly. I don't get upset when people try to argue with me; I understand they want to save money. The fact of the matter is, if you want to save money, then you're going to have to use the drugstore products or find a cheaper replacement for things you like because you're not going to find coupons for your BareMinerals or other brands. That's the way the cosmetic companies want it; we live in a capitalist country where companies are free to charge what they want for things, no matter how outrageous the price may be.
I love Ulta. They are pretty new to my area. Maybe 2 years? I love that they sell HE as well as drugstore items. All of the associates I have ever dealt with have been kind and courteous. I've never had a problem with them following me around.
I also love how they always have coupons. They take those as well as manufacturer coupons combined. I usually end up saving a lot of money.
I only went to Ulta for NYX products. In the future I'll probably just order online from discounted websites. My over all experience with Ulta has been horrendous.
Lets begin by describing the associates: stuck up. If I don't dress up to the "nines", wave money or a designer purse in their face, or walk in and head to the high end side; I get ignored and treated like dirt. I tried going to the high end side to get a good concealer. The associated shoved one brand in my face and left. No asking if I wanted to try it on (I did) or the likes. Oh well. Ulta lost a $40+ sale that day. I did an experiment one day. I wore a knock off Guess purse, a nice dress, heels, and overly done make-up. When I entered the high end side the sales ladies wanted to help me instantly. One time I tried to do a return and was treated like a thief.
My last visit was the one I described about the concealer. I just don't get what the sales ladies at Ulta's issues are but I swear that store needs to retrain their associates in customer service because they are lacking it big time!
I am so annoyed at their coupons, Its like the more you look, the less you see, coupons are useless for the products I want and I could get the drugstore brands cheaper at CVS or Walmart
So why do I need to go there? even though its close by, there is a lot of opportunity to improve this business but not being seized. Their staff look inexperienced to me.
I just use the 3.50/5.00 coupon when I need to change my loofah/body scrub
I like Ulta! They take vendor coupons AND their store coupons on sale items all in the same purchase and you end up saving a ton of money. They carry alot of brands and have testers for alot as well. The stores are clean and the salespeole at my Ulta are fairly friendly, meaning they don't bug me other than "welcome to Ulta" or "do you need any help" (once only). My only problem is not everything is priced and sometimes their sales aren't noticable because the signs are missing.
Ulta is a great store to find most brands. My complaint is you constantly get bugged when your trying to shop and want look at something. Also, their coupon policy is really stupid. Only one coupon at a time. Other than that I can pretty much find what I am looking for. I just want to be left alone when I shop. If I need something I will surely ask.
I can't figure out why people on MUA don't like Ulta! I LOVE Ulta! They have a great selection of high end cosmetics and tons of drugstore brands as well! They tend to have great deals (like buy one get one 1/2 off) and they have an excellent rewards program. They also have a great salon & brow bar. Call me crazy...
Let me start by saying that I do not like being watched. I am an Aspie(Google it), and it makes me very uncomfortable to be observed. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to be stared at, especially when I'm trying to shop. Lately they've gotten better about it, but employees at my local Ulta used to follow people around the store & watch their every move like they're common criminals or something. I don't shoplift, and I really didn't appreciate being treated like a thief when all I'm trying to do is test some fscking lip gloss. I understand all about loss prevention, but be DISCREET or else you'll just run off the honest customers too. Example- One time about 6 years ago, the manager followed me around the store, literally standing about 8 feet away from me the whole time, with her eyes peeled. I wanted to say, "Can I help you, fatass?" but I'm a polite person so I held my tongue & ignored her. As I was paying for my items, I actually heard her say to another SA, "Well I didn't see her take anything, but maybe we got her on camera". I've never been so insulted in my life. I didn't set foot in that store for about 2 years after that. I actually wrote a complaint to the head office & got a level 5 gift certificate out of it, and believe me it was sweet redeeming it to the very same stupid fat bitch who thought I was stealing. That experience has stuck with me ever since and has really colored my impression of the store. I've gotten into the habit of always having my hands in clear view everytime I go in there, lest I get stalked some more. Like I said, lately they've gotten better, I will admit. I guess they had enough angry customers file complaints about being treated like thieves, lol...
The product selection in okay- they don't carry Kat Von D or Jane, which sucks. They carry almost the same low-end brands that Wal-Mart does, only they charge more. They really don't have much that I can't find at elsewhere for about $1 less per item. For example- my Cover Girl powder is around $5 at WM, at Ulta it's $5.99. Half the stock is always sold out, and its almost a guarantee that they won't have the one color that *I* want in any given item. The testers are health hazards, and most of the products have been opened & tested.
As for the salon- it flat-out SUCKS. I have gotten better haircuts at Fantastic Sam's. Hell, I do a better job by myself with sewing scissors & a hand-mirror. The first haircut I got there was in 2004, and when I got home I noticed that one side was shorter than the other. I got it cut again about a month ago after the HerStyler debacle(don't get me started on that damn thing!)- and when I got home I noticed that one side was shorter than the other, AGAIN. *sigh* For 50 damn dollars you'd think you'd get your money's worth right? Not only did I have to fix it myself when I got home, the idiot stylist re-fried my ends. The only reason I cut it to begin with was because it was really damaged from bleaching & using a shitty flatiron, so it really pissed me off to have this moron ruin my hair all over again. I had her cut it off to about where the damage ended, and then she started 'texturizing it', which translated to hacking random chunks out of it which I just found bizarre & unnecessary. After half-assing the blowdrying part(it was still damp when she was done), the ditzy bitch started spraying all kinds of gunk in it, babbling on about how I should always use 'protectant!'. Once my hair was crispy & loaded down with 8 pounds of styling shit, she then proceeded to flatiron it WHILE IT WAS STILL WET. I heard my hair sizzling, and expressed my concern over her scorching my hair, and she reassured me that the 'protectant!'(which was basically hairspray) would prevent damage. By the time she had wreaked her havoc, my hair looked and felt like a tumbleweed, and sure enough- my ends were burnt all over again. Dumb bitch. And it was the salon MANAGER that did my hair so I didn't even have anyone to complain to! Never again. The salon at Ulta is an effing JOKE, at least the one in Norman, OK is. I will go get my hair done at Supercuts for $12 from now on. Ugh.
Bottom line, Ulta is the dollar store of makeup stores. Not the good dollar store either(which would be Dollar Tree), but Dollar General, where you can get the same stuff as anywhere else, but where they round the prices UP & everything ends up costing more. Sephora is about 30 miles away & Ulta is only 2 or 3, so I said that yes, I'll repurchase only because it's much closer than Sephora. But still, I only go there when I have a coupon or if they're having a huge sale, or if I need something that I absolutely cannot find anywhere else. Like the Essence brand, or certain nail polishes.